As Nicole Kidman prepares for the premiere of her new series “Nine Perfect Strangers”, she’s sharing the challenges the $100-million Hulu project faced while shooting in Australia during the pandemic.
in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Kidman detailed the “enormous stress” of being the first major Hollywood production to shoot under the new COVID-19 safety protocols that would eventually become the new normal for film and television.
“There’s an enormous amount of stress being responsible for people’s safety and health,” Kidman said.
“We took that really seriously,” Kidman continued. There was testing, mask wearing and if someone had a sore throat — even if the test came back negative — we rescheduled, or we shut down. We couldn’t put anyone at risk. And we got through without one case, which is extraordinary.”
Had she and the other producers — including David E. Kelley, with whom she’s worked on “Big Little Lies” and “The Undoing” — known the enormity of what they were taking on, “Nine Perfect Strangers” may not have happened.
“I don’t think we realized what we were taking on,” she explained. “If we’d known how high the risk was in terms of the whole thing being shut down and being destroyed like that, I don’t think the financiers would have taken the risk. We kind of played Russian roulette in that way.”
In the series, Kidman plays mysterious “wellness” guru Masha Dmitrichenko, who welcomes nine guests to her unique retreat.
“The thing I have to deal with is to reinvent myself, and when I go into a director or a writer’s hands, I have to be willing to shed my expectations and basically say, you’re allowed to shape me and mold me,” Kidman said of her latest role.
“Art is collaboration and perhaps with a painter it’s your relationship with the canvas and nobody is involved, but that’s not the case with the type of art that I make. Filmmaking is all about working together,” she added.
“When you deal with Melissa McCarthy, and Regina Hall, Michael Shannon and Bobby Cannavale, they’re coming in, and they’re going, this isn’t right, I don’t believe this, you’ve got to change this, and that’s fantastic because the character becomes theirs,” said Kidman. “It’s all about being fluid and being willing to change.”
“Nine Perfect Strangers” premieres on Aug. 18.